There's never been a more important time to think about improving your health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to supporting immune and emotional health.
Here are 9 top trending superfoods for 2022 you should be stocking your cupboards with, to feel healthier and happier and to bolster your immune defences.
Konjac is a root vegetable which has been used as a food and natural medicine for centuries in Asian cultures. Konjac is a dietary staple throughout Asia that’s used to make traditional foods such as konjac noodles, tofu, jelly and flour.
Konjac is a rich source of glucomannan which is an ancient fibre source that has many wonderful health benefits. Glucomannan helps aid weight loss by promoting a sense of fullness and satiety. It increases the level of cholecystokinin in the gut which is a hormone that helps control your appetite.
Including fibre rich konjac in the diet will help slow the rate that food is broken down and absorbed into the blood stream, which helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels balanced and cholesterol levels in check. This will help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
Glucomannan is also an excellent remedy for constipation as it attracts high amounts of water into the bowel to improve regularity. It also helps increase the speed at which waste is eliminated which helps to clear toxins quickly from the body.
Glucomannan is also a fermented fibre which means it acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that feed our beneficial gut bacteria to help them to grow and flourish.
Konjac noodles (called Shirataki in Japan) are extremely low in calories, they’re gluten-free and have less carbohydrates compared to pasta. This makes it a great alternative to pasta for people wanting to lose weight or who are looking for new ways to increase their daily fibre intake.
Konjac noodles are quick and easy to make and are delicious served with your favourite pasta sauce or added to soups or salads.
Swiss scientists have discovered that pomegranates contain a compound called urolithin A that can improve mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells where nutrients are converted into energy. Mitochondria are essential to the health of every cell in the body and play a key role in the ageing process and immune function.
As we age mitochondrial function starts to slow down. Including pomegranate seeds in your diet can help boost mitochondrial health and reduce the risk of premature ageing and chronic disease.
Pomegranates are also loaded with protective nutrients and phytochemicals such as vitamin C and A, polyphenols and anthocyanins that have potent antioxidant properties.
Pomegranates are delicious tossed through salads, muesli, porridges or yoghurt. Try our Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA iced with pomegranate juice and lime. Check out our Pomegranate & Lime Iced Tea recipe.
Hemp seeds are one of the richest plant sources of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, containing a perfect balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats (3:1), which help promote strong immune function and cardiovascular health. You need a good supply of omega-3 fats in your diet to improve the health and functioning of your brain cells and to boost your memory. Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of protein, which is easy to digest, with just 3 tablespoons containing 11 grams of protein (similar to that found in a 240ml tub of yoghurt). You will also get a good dose of dietary fibre, vitamin E and minerals iron, calcium, and zinc from these delicious tiny seeds.
Try adding hemp seeds to salads, cereals, smoothies, and protein balls. Drizzle hemp oil over salads and veggies, or use hemp protein powder to add extra nutrients to your next smoothie or baked goods.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols namely epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. Many of green teas health benefits have been attributed to the presence of high levels of EGCG.
Studies have linked green tea consumption with the reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Drinking green tea can help lift mood and improve cognition and memory, and can boost immune function and liver health. Green tea can also increase metabolism and fat burning, which can help encourage weight loss. EGCG helps prevent premature skin ageing by reducing the breakdown of collagen, and can protect the joints by inhibiting the degradation of cartilage.
Drinking green tea can also significantly increase glutathione levels. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants produced in the body that combats damaging free radicals and supports immune function and liver detoxification.
One study compared green tea (4 cups a day) and green tea extract to placebo on the effects of antioxidant protection in people who have metabolic syndrome – a condition characterised by abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Those who consumed green tea and green tea extract increased their glutathione levels by over 134% and total antioxidant capacity by over 150%.
Try our multi-award winning certified organic green tea Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA. Green tea is also delicious iced with a squeeze of lemon and fresh mint, or a little apple juice and lime. Try our Apple & Mint Iced Green Tea.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been a much loved staple in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which has been studied extensively for its powerful antioxidant properties and potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous effect. Studies have shown that curcumin is immune-boosting as it can modulate the activation of immune cells and can enhance antibody responses.
Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for the treatment of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Turmeric also has a strong antioxidant action offering the joints protection against damaging free radicals. Anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric are also very soothing and healing for the gut and are beneficial for anyone suffering from leaky gut. Due to turmeric’s high levels of antioxidants it protects the skin against free radical damage and premature ageing and helps promote healthy, more youthful looking skin.
Some delicious ways to enjoy turmeric is added to a mango smoothie, or drank as a tea with some ginger and lemon. Turmeric lattes are delicious hot or cold, or use it raw grated or as a powder added to veggie, rice and quinoa dishes, in salad dressings, curries, veggie juices, or in scrambled eggs or tofu. When you mix turmeric with some black pepper it increases curcumin’s absorption significantly. You will find turmeric in our delicious turmeric latte Bodhi Organic LuminosiTEA and our multi-award winning Bodhi Organic ZesTEA.
Cruciferous vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat to nourish your body. The cruciferous vegetable family is made up of broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, collard greens, arugula rocket, watercress, rutabaga, turnips and turnip greens, daikon, wasabi, kohlrabi, and radish, maca and mizuna.
These super veggies have been found to have a variety of impressive health benefits including lowering cholesterol levels and the risk of cancer and heart disease, boosting liver detoxification and immunity, and even balancing hormone levels.
What makes this family of vegetables so unique is that they contain a group of phytochemicals called glucosinolates. These are naturally occurring sulfur-containing chemicals are responsible for cruciferous veggies characteristic pungent aroma and bitter mustard flavour and their outstanding health benefits including reducing inflammation and detoxify carcinogenic compounds. These sulfur compounds also help remove heavy metals safely out of the body.
Some great ways to enjoy brassicas includes adding raw shredded kale to salads. Massage your kale first for a few minutes with some olive oil and lemon juice to break down its tough fibres. Whole cauliflowers are delicious oven baked covered in spices. Cauliflower also makes a delicious gluten-free pizza base or rice alternative. Toss shredded cabbage through salads, make sauerkraut or healthy coleslaw. Brussel sprouts taste best when they’re pan-fried or roasted with spices and olive oil. Toss collard and mustard greens and arugula through salads for extra flavour.
Seaweed is a highly nutritious superfood known for their immune boosting properties. Including seaweed in the diet can help increase white blood cell production and reduce the risk of cancer. Seaweed is also rich in minerals, particularly zinc, iron and selenium, which are essential for a strong functioning immune system.
Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine which is an important trace mineral essential for healthy thyroid function and production of thyroid hormones. A healthy thyroid is vital for a strong metabolism.
Studies have shown that certain types of seaweed have anti-obesity effects as they increase the amount of calories you burn. Seaweed contains a brown pigment called fucoxanthin which has been found to promote weight loss by stimulating a protein that causes the breakdown of fat and conversion of energy to heat.
There are many different types of seaweed including kelp, kombu, wakame, nori and dulse that can be used to make nori rolls, miso soup, stir-fry’s, and added to fermented veggies. Sprinkle seaweed flakes onto oven-baked chips, pasta, homemade chicken nuggets, or tacos, or use it to season meats, chicken and fish. You can also add a little kelp powder to your morning green smoothie.
Including fermented vegetables in your daily diet is another important way to boost your health and wellbeing. Fermented veggies such as sauerkraut and kimchi are considered probiotic foods as they contain live bacteria that help increase beneficial microbiota in the gut. It’s important that we have a good balance of these beneficial gut microbiota for a strong functioning immune system. When our gut microbiota is out of balance certain harmful bacteria can activate immune cells to produce inflammation that can damage the intestinal lining.
Consuming fermented vegetables is also an excellent way to promote a healthy mood. The health of our digestive system is closely related to our emotional wellbeing. Our gut plays a key role in guarding against the development of anxiety and depression-related disorders. A large percentage of our brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine and GABA are produced in the gut. In fact, around ninety percent of our serotonin is produced in the gut. Dysbiosis (altered gut microbiome) and gut inflammation have been linked to altered levels of serotonin levels and several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression.
Incorporating probiotic rich foods like fermented veggies with meals can help improve mood and promote emotional health. The health of our digestive system is closely related to our emotional wellbeing. A large percentage of our feel good brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine and GABA are produced in the gut. Our gut plays a key role in guarding against the development of anxiety and depression-related disorders.
Add a couple of good spoonful’s of fermented vegetables to your next salad, wrap, taco, curry, lentil dahl, or earth bowl.
They contain powerful polysaccharides that boost immune function, offer cancer prevention. Lions mane is beneficial for neuroplasticity.
Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, reishi, maitake, turkey tail, chaga and corydyceps contain incredibly powerful immune-strengthening compounds that help bolster the immune system to improve the body’s ability to fight off infections. Medicinal mushrooms contain active compounds called beta-glucans that stimulate the immune system by enhancing macrophage and natural killer function, which play an important role in our immune function.
Cordyceps, lion’s mane, and chaga are considered adaptogenic mushrooms as they have the ability to boost your resistance to emotional and physical stress. These medicinal mushrooms can help balance cortisol levels and improve energy levels and endurance.
Lions mane, chaga and cordyceps are also beneficial for improving brain function. These mushrooms are classified as nootropics which are a group of substances that have been found to enhance cognition, increase focus, and boost memory and learning.
Make sure you buy certified organic mushrooms as they can easily absorb whatever they are grown in, including chemical pesticides and herbicides.
Shiitake and maitake can be enjoyed in soups, stews and stir-fries. Turkey tail, reishi, chaga and cordyceps on the other hand are not ideal for cooking and are best taken as a powder used to supercharge smoothies, veggie juices, coffee, hot chocolate or chai. You will find lion’s mane, cordyceps and chaga mushrooms in our delicious healthy hot chocolate Bodhi Hot ChocolaTEA which helps support adrenal and immune health.